NEWDOW et al v. ROBERTS et al

Filing 32

MOTION for Leave to File Brief Amicus Curiae by AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order, # 2 Proposed Amicus Brief, # 3 Disclosure Statement)(nmw, )

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NEWDOW et al v. ROBERTS et al Doc. 32 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA _________________________________ ) ) ) Plaintiffs, ) v. ) ) HON. JOHN ROBERTS, JR., et al., ) ) Defendants. ) _________________________________) MICHAEL NEWDOW, et al., Civil Action No. 1:08-cv-02248-RBW MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE BRIEF AMICUS CURIAE OF THE AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE IN SUPPORT OF THE DEFENDANTS The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) respectfully moves the court for leave to file the accompanying amicus curiae brief in support of Defendants.1 POINTS AND AUTHORITIES SUPPORTING THE MOTION I. INTEREST OF AMICUS Amicus, American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), is an organization dedicated to the defense of constitutional liberties secured by law. ACLJ attorneys have presented argument in numerous cases before the Supreme Court of the United States, including several cases involving 1 Amicus sought consent from all parties in this case. This motion and proposed amicus brief is filed with the consent of the Plaintiffs. The government and PIC Defendants take no position on the filing of amicus briefs in this matter. Attempts were made to contact Defendants Warren and Lowery; however, we have received no response to date. the Establishment Clause. ACLJ attorneys have participated as counsel of record for parties and/or amicus curiae in numerous cases before the lower federal courts, including this Court. Amicus has dedicated time and effort to defending and protecting Americans' First Amendment freedoms. It is this commitment to the integrity of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights that compels them to oppose Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction. The proper resolution of this case is a matter of great concern to amicus because Plaintiffs, Mr. Newdow in particular, seeks a precedent which, if followed to its logical end, would eventually result in the purging of every vestige of religious expression from public life. The notion that the Establishment Clause requires such a "relentless and all-pervasive attempt to exclude religion from every aspect of public life"2 has no support in any Supreme Court case. II. WHY AN AMICUS BRIEF IS DESIRABLE AND WHY THE MATTERS ASSERTED ARE RELEVANT TO THE DISPOSITION OF THE CASE. The ACLJ possesses expertise regarding the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution and seeks to analyze the relevant case law in order to demonstrate that the Court should resolve these vital constitutional issues in favor of the Defendants and dismiss Plaintiffs' complaint. Amicus takes the position that presidential inaugural prayer in no way violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Mr. Newdow's unrelenting targeting of religious expression in the federal government is particularly illconsidered given the United States Supreme Court's decision in Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783 (1983). His personal crusade serves no purpose other than to waste judicial resources at a time in our Nation's history when those resources are needed in cases involving real threats to Allegheny County v. American Civil Liberties Union, 492 U.S. 573, 657 (1989) (Kennedy, J., concurring) (quoting Walz v. Tax Comm'n, 397 U.S. 664, 670-71 (1970)). 2 2 American liberties. Moreover, a strategy like Newdow's will undoubtedly embolden further challenges to other religious expressions associated with the federal government, both within the Capitol and beyond. In its brief, Amicus clarifies the Establishment Clause precedent relied upon by Plaintiffs and demonstrates the ongoing viability of the Supreme Court's decision in Marsh v. Chambers. The brief analyzes the challenged prayer under the controlling precedent of Marsh v. Chambers and takes the position that to strike down national traditions such as presidential inaugural prayer would be a disturbing departure from this and other Supreme Court precedent upholding the constitutionality of government practices recognizing the nation's religious heritage. Amicus believes strongly that a proper understanding and application of the Establishment Clause jurisprudence of the Supreme Court supports unequivocally the constitutionality of presidential inaugural prayer. III. CONCLUSION WHEREFORE, this court should grant the present motion and allow amicus to file the accompanying brief amicus curiae. Respectfully submitted this 13th day of January, 2009, /s/ James M. Henderson James M. Henderson (#452639) Counsel of Record Jay Alan Sekulow* Stuart J. Roth* AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW & JUSTICE 201 Maryland Ave., NE Washington, DC 20002 (202) 546-8890 Attorneys for Amicus Curiae Shannon Demos Woodruff* Erik M. Zimmerman* AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW & JUSTICE 1000 Regent University Dr. Virginia Beach, VA 23464 (757) 226-2489 * - Not admitted in this court 3 CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I certify that, on January 13, 2009, a true and correct copy of this document was served by Federal Express on the following counsel in this case: Robert V. Ritter Appignani Humanist Legal Center 1777 T. Street, NW Washington, DC 20009 Counsel for Plaintiffs Brad P. Rosenberg United States Department of Justice Civil Div., Federal Programs Branch 20 Massachusetts Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20001 Counsel for Government Defendants Joe Lowery 3121 Cascade Rd S.W. Atlanta, GA 30311 Defendant E. Desmond Hogan Hogan & Hartson 555 Thirteenth St., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20004 Counsel for PIC Defendants Rick Warren 1 Saddleback Parkway Lake Forest, CA 92630 Defendant I certify that, on January 13, 2009, a true and correct copy of this document was served by United States mail, along with a courtesy copy by electronic mail, on the following counsel in this case: Michael Newdow P.O. Box 233345 Sacramento, CA 95823 Counsel for Plaintiffs /s/ James M. Henderson James M. Henderson Counsel for Amicus 4

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